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Old 06-09-11, 06:19 AM   #1
indyfabz
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Going to the "Snow" Road

I posted a link to this photo on another forum and thought I would post it here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/glaciernps/5806258692/

Visible in the center of the shot is the roof of the visitor center at Logan Pass atop Going to the Sun Road in Glacier National Park. That visitor center is elevated above the roadway by maybe 15-20'.

The park got more snow last weekend and crews had to re-plow a section that had previously been cleared. Hope no one has plans to ride it in the very near future.

I feel for the businesses that depend heavily on park business for summer revenue. I was there two years ago when the pass opened. It was front page news.
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Old 06-09-11, 09:33 AM   #2
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That is simply amazing. Could the snow in the pass make it through the summer???
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Old 06-09-11, 10:38 AM   #3
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Old 06-09-11, 11:18 AM   #4
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That is simply amazing. Could the snow in the pass make it through the summer???
Just checked the NPS site. They are actually making some decent progress with the plowing considering the task:

http://home.nps.gov/applications/gla...plowstatus.cfm

As noted, they are encountering 30' drifts and they have not even made it to the area known as "The Big Drift" on the east side. I have a photo taken in '09 at the Big Bend while we were waiting for the west side to open to the pass. You can see a wall of snow about 15 ft. high.

Clearing the roadway is not the only issue. If avalanche danger exists, they might not open the road. And as was the case in '09, if they find serious enough road damage caused by avalanches during the winter, it will have to be repaired before the road can be opened.
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Old 06-09-11, 11:43 AM   #5
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Thanks for sharing the picture

That is an impressive reminder of the cold winter we had! Although I understand they are on track, I am surprised after having 100+ degree days in the midwest that there can be that much snow left.

I hope they clear off the snow on schedule and find no damaged roads otherwise I will not be able to call myself a bicycle tourist.
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Old 06-09-11, 03:44 PM   #6
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A friend of mine sent me a photo she took a week ago from the valley on the west side, and you could clearly see 2 places where avalanches had covered Going-to-the-Sun Road.

Tioga Pass in Yosemite will also open much later than in most years due to heavy snowpack.
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Old 06-10-11, 06:54 AM   #7
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I hope they clear off the snow on schedule and find no damaged roads otherwise I will not be able to call myself a bicycle tourist.
When do you plan to ride it?
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Old 06-10-11, 10:51 AM   #8
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When do you plan to ride it?
middle of August. They should have the roads plowed by then, just worried about the damage.
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Old 06-10-11, 02:18 PM   #9
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middle of August. They should have the roads plowed by then, just worried about the damage.
If they don't have the road open by then they are going to be in trouble. Too many tourist dollars would be lost.

Note, however, that there is a multi-year re-hab project ongoing. Check the official park web site for details. You might encounter delays and temporary road/lane closures. When we were there in '09, traffic was reduced to one lane for a stretch on the west side. On the descent, we had to wait about 10-15 min. until the traffic coming up cleared. Then they let the descending traffic go. No worries as it's a really nice place to hang out--unless it's cold and wet. To the extent you encounter any unpaved sections as a result of the re-hab like we did, they should be passable with only a little problem.

Here are some photos from our loop from Whitefish up into B.C. and Alberta and back into MT:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/davez20...7620763740044/

The last 26 are from the west slope of GTS. The pass was not open when we got to St, Mary so we went around the park via U.S. 89, Looking Glass Road and Marias Pass (U.S. 2) so we could at least ride up and back down the west slope of GTS before going home.
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Old 06-10-11, 02:43 PM   #10
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Wonderful pics! I have such a strong desire to tour from whitefish to jasper, or the other way around, and your pics are feeding this desire....but alas, i will not be able to do this until at least next year.
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